Everyone’s got skeletons in their closet. Hell, Tiger Woods had least 14 or 15 live ones in his.
With the Celtics playing Chicago tonight, I think it’s time I let mine out of the closet:
I am a big Joakim Noah fan. Now, I don’t have posters of him in my room or anything (I don’t want to scare my roommates), but I admire the way he plays.
As Celtics fans, you probably all despise Noah. You probably hate him from the innermost chambers of your heart. You probably loathe the way he overreacts to every made bucket, and you probably wanted to grab a fistful of his disgusting hair and pull until his scalp burned for days as soon as he dunked on Paul Pierce and did his typical Noah-esque celebration. You probably want to gouge out your own eyes every time he shoots a jumper. (Come to think of it… so do I.)
But I love that stuff. (Besides the dunk on Pierce, of course. And the shooting form.) Joakim Noah is all about winning. He puts aside his own interests and does whatever he can to help his team win games. He jostles for every rebound, doesn’t give a damn about whether he scores a single point or 30, and plays every game like it’s the NBA championship.
Joakim Noah isn’t the most talented big man in the league, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I can tell you this; if every Chicago player had Noah’s heart and determination, Chicago would be far better than 16-20. Hell, if you put Noah’s heart into Patrick O’Bryant’s body, you’d probably have an All-Star. Even though, as it is now, O’Bryant’s playing himself out of the NBA.
I can see why people hate Noah; his demonstrative acts of passion and overstated joy can get old really fast. He tends to rub opponents the wrong way with his style of play and his on-court persona. Even his interview after Florida won its second national championship in a row made him seem like a buffoon. (“We gonna do it big, all day all night. Do it huge. You guys have no idea what I’m talking about when I’m saying that but, but, but my boys know! The Gator boys know what I’m talking about!”)
But I don’t care what anybody else thinks about Noah, because he’s a player you can go to war with. He’s a player you want on your team, who’s willing to do anything under the sun to help his team. Give me a guy like that any day over a talented, nonchalant overachiever. (I’m looking at you, Vince Carter.)
No matter how often you get annoyed by Joakim Noah’s often childish antics, not even his most staunch detractor could say he doesn’t play his ass off every play of every game.
And that’s why he’s the skeleton in my closet. You might not appreciate it, and you might not agree with me, but you’ve got to admit one thing…
My skeleton’s a winner.